11 Photos Of The Women Of “Downton Abbey” Looking Magnificently Modern

The ladies of the British period drama, along with executive producer Gareth Neame, appeared at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday evening.

1. The ladies of Downton Abbey.

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One attendee described the event as “a sea of legs.”

2. Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), bursting into a huge smile, something rarely done by Mary Crawley.

Rahoul Ghose/PBS

Asked why she isn’t on Twitter, Dockery said, “It turns out that Lady Mary’s Eyebrows beat me to it.”

3. Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith), looking far more relaxed than her Downton counterpart.

Rahoul Ghose/PBS

Carmichael on where Edith’s storyline is going this season, now that she’s a professional woman writing a newspaper column: “I like to think of Edith as the Carrie Bradshaw of the 1920s.”

4. Phyllis Logan, who plays Downton’s chatelaine Mrs. Hughes, lets her hair down (and gets out of the corset).

Rahoul Ghose/PBS

Asked whether Downton Abbey will continue to chart the history of Britain all the way into the 1940s and show World War II, Logan shot out a wicked one-liner to express her hopes that the show doesn’t go that far into the future or Mrs. Hughes won’t be around: “I’d certainly be dead by then, so I hope not!”

5. Dockery swiftly but stylishly kills off any speculation about a Tom/Mary pairing.

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Asked about whether fans should be reading into that photo of Lady Mary and Tom Branson (Allen Leech), Dockery said, “We are aware that there are suspicions about Tom and Mary’s relationship, but they are very much just friends.” She added that it would be gross if Mary went after her dead sister’s husband.

Gareth Neame, meanwhile, had his own take on Mary’s romantic misfortunes when it comes to the fates of her lovers, who tend to wind up dead. “They’re kind of like praying mantises,” said Neame. “They get to do it once.”

6. Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates), wearing killer Louboutins.

Rahoul Ghose/PBS

“I love Anna,” said Froggatt. “When I read her on the page before I went in for the audition, I thought, ‘Oh, yeah. You know, she’s the kind of person you would want as a best friend, and she’s just so lovely.’ And I think Anna may grow up to be Mrs. Hughes.”

7. Daisy’s all grown up. Sophie McShera, who plays kitchen dogsbody Daisy, looking floral and carefree.

Rahoul Ghose/PBS

“What hasn’t changed at all?” said McShera. “My outfit. It has a bit… I’ve got a drop waist now. I’m great. [Daisy’s] growing up. Someone asked me how old she was now and how old she was when we began, and I couldn’t I couldn’t work it out… She was about 10 when we started. Yeah, she’s had such a journey and, even during her terrible teens… that bratty teenage stage, which she’s still in a bit. She’s been a bit of a jealous girl with Ivy and everything.”

8. I like to imagine that Dockery and Froggatt are as close in real life as Mary and Anna. Just, you know, without the servitude.

Rahoul Ghose/PBS

9. Here’s another for good measure.

Rahoul Ghose/PBS

10. And another.

Rahoul Ghose/PBS

11. Here is Phyllis Logan telling a story about how her own family was affected by the First World War. (Her grandfather was killed when her father was a baby.)

Rahoul Ghose/PBS

She added that Downton emerged from the war relatively unscathed, which rubbed Sophie McShera the wrong way, given that William, Daisy’s husband, was killed during the war. “You’re so insensitive,” said McShera, mock incensed. “Oh, your husband!” said Logan.

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